How does an antique music box speak to and inspire someone when it’s music has been rendered barely audible over decades of negligence? Ask Martin Bircher who finds the “rattling mechanical workings” and “clanking sounds” charming – so much so that the media artist is addicted to modifying these boxes to crank up the current sounds of silence!
How fantastic is it when you can work at something you love, to earn a living, while not having to give up your hobbies. That’s exactly what Martin Bircher does. He’s a full-time lecturer in Digital Media in Finland as well as a media artist. His forté? Combining antiquated items with digital technology to re-purpose them or, using Bircher’s coined term, to create “objets trouvés numériques”.
His latest re-purposing is of a Symphonion Brevet No. 28 and is featured in the interactive sound installation “Digital Enhancement”. The ‘digital’ element Bircher’s added to the music box is a programmed synthesizer, transforming it into a MIDI music sequencer.
Just look at those beautiful steel plates with those embossed grooves that represent musical notes! How mesmerizing and enchanting. We’re glad Bircher is the type of creative that doesn’t fear damaging historical artifacts, as many steer away from antique shops leaving the items to rust and render useless anyhow, but one who instead salvages and restores life to these intricate works of craftsmanship for us in the present age to enjoy!
Information for this article was taken from Martin Bircher